The NFL community was sent into a tizzy Friday after news broke that the Dallas Cowboys had released three-time Pro Bowler Dez Bryant. The 29-year-old wide receiver was a star in the league not too long ago, so understandably, there has been tons of chatter from fans and media like as to where he will continue his career.
Bryant has said he wants to stay in his old stomping grounds of the NFL East so that he can personally stick it to his former team twice a year during the regular season. It’s hard to fault his rationale here, but given how late into free agency it is, those teams might not have room for Bryant or interest in him, so he’d be wise to cast his net wider. Enter the Buffalo Bills, who ESPN NFL Insiders think should be considered as one of four “likely destinations” where Bryant could end up.
It’s obvious that the Bills are in desperate need of help at the position — Buffalo’s unit ranked near the bottom in every major statistical category last season, and has lost two of its best players in free agency in Jordan Matthews and Deonte Thompson. It’s not very common to have big-name wideouts became available this late in the offseason, so I understand the understand the temptation to go after Bryant, but here are the reasons as to why it’s a move that doesn’t make sense for the Bills:
He’s going cost too much money
Player salary information site, Spotrac, estimates that Bryant will receive on the open market a contract with an average yearly salary around $9.4 million. Buffalo’s highest-paid wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, who’s three years younger than Bryant, is making about $8.5 million this season per Spotrac. The Bills, who have nearly 19 million in estimated available cap space, can surely afford to pay Bryant but they shouldn’t do it. Between Benjamin and what Bryant projects to make, that’s a too much money to tie up into two wide receivers when currently there is a ton of unpredictability surrounding the Bills at quarterback. Veteran wideouts Eric Decker and Jeremy Maclin are cheaper options still available on the market that Buffalo would be better suited going after.
Bryant likely isn’t ready to be a No. 2 option
After being the go-to guy at Oklahoma State and then with the Cowboys for so many years, it’s hard to imagine that Bryant is ready to take a backseat to Benjamin or anyone else. And what about LeSean McCoy? The star running back has been the heart and soul of the Bills offense the past three seasons — in fact, McCoy led the Bills in receptions last season and was second in yards. Ironically, though, McCoy is advocating for Bryant to sign with Buffalo.
He doesn’t seem like a ‘process’ guy
Bills head coach Sean McDermott wants players that exemplify “the process”, blue-collar values similar to the ones that have followed him through his upbringing into the NFL. In the past, Bryant has been labeled as a diva receiver, someone who can be difficult to work with for both coaches and fellow players. This topic arose in a very candid interview Bryant did with NFL Network’s Jane Slater shortly after getting cut. As a team that will either start a first-time starter at quarterback in AJ McCarron, or rookie they take at the end of the month in the draft, it’s quite important for the Bills to harbor a low-hostile environment for their quarterback.